After raising $2 million for Four Points schools, Viper Nation Academic Booster dissolves

2020 Viper Nation Academic Booster board members
L-R back row: Matthew Schaefer, Jimmy Allgood, Nicole Korensky, Danielle Sherbo, Adam Kristoff , RJ Jackson, Gene Arant, Brent Cardwell, Carmen Paz, William Farrell (Pete Dwyer not pictured.)
L-R front row: Julie Shields, Lynette Haaland Seitzler, Michelle Beck, Contessa Weinheimer, executive director

Viper Nation Education Foundation donates $3,500 human 3D anatomy models for Kimberly Conrad’s class in May 2019.
VNEF grant patrol at Grandview Hills Elementary in April 2018 with LISD Superintendent Dan Troxell.

Vandegrift computer science teacher Rad Allen gets a Viper Nation Education grant for $4,925 for a 3D fi lament recycler in May 2019 during the annual grant patrol.

Viper Nation Academic Booster was formed in 2009 — when Vandegrift High School was brand new — to raise additional financial support for all eight schools in our local area: River Ridge, Laura W. Bush, Steiner Ranch, Grandview Hills, River Place elementary schools, Canyon Ridge and Four Points middle schools and Vandegrift High School. 

The foundation was formed by Mr. Kai Lamb, Mr. Brian Pitman, Mr. Pete Dwyer and Ms. Michelle Beck. The vision: To stimulate academic excellence for students in Austin’s Four Points community in the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, college readiness and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through private funding.

It was originally called Hill Country Education Foundation, then Viper Nation Education Foundation and then Viper Nation Academic Booster, to better meet district guidelines.

I am proud to report that because of the vision of our founders, we have been able to raise more than $2 million since inception that has been poured back into our eight schools in the form of grants, scholarships and other initiatives!

As many may have seen in Four Points News, Vandegrift was recently ranked as the 10th best public school in the State of Texas by the education website Niche — an achievement worthy of all of our applause. While credit for such an accomplishment belongs to the students, teachers and administration of our schools, I’d like to believe Viper Nation has played a small part in that success.

Unfortunately, between the pandemic and current state of animosity within the district, after countless hours of deliberation, the board of Viper Nation has made the difficult decision to dissolve. While we were always able to navigate the hurdles thrown our way, the pandemic has created an economic burden too steep to climb for our organization as well as many other businesses and charities around the country. All remaining donated funds will be distributed to our local schools in the coming weeks. 

In 2018, Viper Nation grant patrol gave funds for tools for Vandegrift’s AV department under the direction of teacher Michael Ellis.

In addition to our founders, I would also extend my sincere appreciation to all those who have served as board members or other volunteer positions for Viper Nation, and for our executive directors Michelle Beck, Courtney Johnson and Contessa Weinheimer. A special thanks also goes out to Mr. Gene Arant for always graciously offering his office or home for meetings, and Ms. Lynette Haaland for always keeping the community aware of our efforts in the Four Points News.

And finally, on behalf of the VNAB Board of Directors and all who may have previously served, we say thank you to the entire Four Points community for the love and support shown to Viper Nation for the past 12 years. Your support has allowed us to play a small part in improving our schools and the educational experience for our children. We certainly could not have done it without you.


William Farrell

Viper Nation Academic Booster President

Pamela Waggoner, middle, and other LISD board members and former LISD superintendent Bret Champion, hold a donation check from Philip and Chris Jalufka for the Leander ISD digital library at the Viper Nation Academic Booster (formerly Hill Country Education Foundation) annual gala February 22, 2014.
April 27, 2018 Vandegrift robotics grant.
Viper Nation Education Foundation gives a $900 grant for U.S. government games for Alexandra Magness’ class in May 2019.
Viper Nation Education Foundation co-founder Michelle Beck fills out the amount on the big check while other VNEF board members get ready for the next stop on the grant patrol in May 2019.
Four Points Middle School library gets VNEF funds in May 2019.

Viper Nation Academic Booster 

board members since 2009

Kai Lamb

Michelle Lamb

Michelle Beck

Pete Dwyer

Brian Pitman

Mary Scherer

Christine Bailie

Erika Gonzalez-Lima

John Pasquarette

Gloria Lam Parker

Gene Arant          

Lynette Haaland Seitzler         

Brent Cardwell

William Farrell 

David Nelson

Pam Province

Adam Kristoff

Contessa Weinheimer

Matt Schaefer

Shauna Upp

Jimmy Allgood

Stephanie Johnson 

Karl Schulte

Danielle Sherbo

Julie Shields

Nicole Korensky

RJ Jackson

Carmen Paz